SCOTLAND international Johnny Russell has admitted he could have been lured to Celtic before his move to Derby.
The striker quit Dundee United in a £750,000 deal for the English outfit in 2013.
But Russell, who joined MLS outfit Sporting Kansas City in January, revealed he would have been tempted to jump at the chance of joining his schoolboy idols at Parkhead.
The pacy frontman, who scored 34 goals in 203 appearances for the Championship outfit, said: “Round about the time my contract at Dundee United was running out, the decision was made that I would be sold to make the club some money.
“I had been there for 10 years and they gave me everything. They offered me the opportunity to do what I love to do.
“There were a few clubs from abroad that had shown an interest.
“Then it came down to Derby making an offer, but at the same point, Celtic were sort of hanging around and asked to made aware of any bids and what was happening.
“Derby made it really clear they wanted me to join. They made me feel extremely wanted, to be part of the club.
“Celtic were informed and they wouldn’t match the offer, so it was one of those that was close, but it never came down to me making a decision on where I was going.
“Obviously, if the Derby bid had been matched, it would have been an extremely difficult decision for me.
“I always wanted to go somewhere else, but if your boyhood heroes come in for you, there are not many people who would turn it down.”
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